June 26th 2013, marked a major milestone in the movement for full LGBT equality. In a 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court, Section-3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing legally married same-sex couples, was declared to be unconstitutional. To celebrate the landmark victory, GLAAD and Marriage Equality USA, along with other national and local LGBT advocacy groups hosted a rally in New York's, Greenwich Village, where in 1969 the Gay Liberation movement began during the Stonewall Riots. Brian Silva, Executive Director for Marriage Equality USA brought together Edie Windsor, lead plaintiff in the case challening DOMA; state elected officials and various figures in the community to formally address the everyday citizens that this ruling will affect.
Keynote speakers for the NYC rally included, GLAAD's acting President Dave Montez, Edie Windsor and her lawyer Roberta Kaplan, Marriage Equality USA Co-President Cathy Marino-Thomas and couples like Tiffany Peckosh and Meredith Soffrin.
In West Hollywood, California, hundreds gathered for a rally hosted by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) to celebrate the demise of Proposition 8, as well as DOMA.
GLAAD's presence at the NYC and West Hollywood rallies was to ensure the right message was passed along to the press. GLAAD staff worked to prepare couples for interviews and connect media outlets with a diverse range of spokespeople.
Shortly after the release of the Supreme Court decisions, President Barack Obama released the following statement, "This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it."
Take a look at photos from the rallies below, and visit http://glaad.org/marriage for more.